The Cosmos ended the NASL spring season on a successful note. (Photo courtesy of the Cosmos)
EDMONTON — Eric Calvillo scored his first goal of the season in the 79th minute to lift the Cosmos to a 1-0 victory over FC Edmonton in the North American Soccer League spring finale for both teams Saturday night.
The Cosmos finished the spring season at 6-4-6 and 24 points in third place in the eight-team NASL. The fall season kicks off in two weeks. Edmonton finished in seventh place at 4-11-1.
“It was a great win tonight,” Cosmos head coach Giovanni Savarese said. “We fought hard to earn a victory and feel content to close the spring season with a victory.”
Goalkeeper Jimmy Mauer recorded the shutout.
The Cosmos showed they meant business from the get-go.
In the 12th minute, Javi Márquez served Calvillo, who bent his effort just wide of the net. New York looked sharp in the final third, earning consecutive set pieces.
An Edmonton free kick in the 37th minute, however, looked to end the visitors’ dominance. Ben Fisk served the ball to Sabri Khattab, whose header was saved in a one-handed motion by Maurer. Four minutes later, it was Tomi Ameobi who put Maurer to the test, as the keeper denied at point-blank range.
New York found its rhythm after the break. Calvillo dribbled down the middle of the box past the Eddies’ defense in the 51st minute. The Cosmos midfielder had keeper Tyson Farago going airborne, sending in a right-footed shot from center that could only be rerouted with a diving save. Six minutes later, Pablo Vranjicán’s back-heel pass found Juan Guerra, who forced Farago to make a near post save.
Emotions flared in the 80th minute when Danny Szetela found Calvillo in the six-yard box, and the 19-year-old midfielder tallied in his fourth appearance for the club this year. The Eddies claimed the goal was offside, but after checking with the linesman, referee Juan Márquez announced that the goal stood.
“The most important thing is that the ball ended up going in the net after a very good play,” Savarese said. “The goal was very important for us in the second half.”
The Cosmos kick off the fall season when they host Miami FC at MCU Park on July 29 at 7 p.m.